Primaluna EVO 300/400 Preamplifier owners - let's hear from you


I'm curious if anyone owns the EVO 300 or 400 Preamps. Besides what your thoughts are on the sonics I would like to know how it is to live with on a daily basis.

Any issues with powering on/off if your amp is already on? Trying to understand order of operations and how sensitive a process powering on is.

How is the volume control to work with via remote? Can you you get very fine adjustments, or is that only possible with the knob on the unit?

Any thoughts on the Balanced vs Single Ended outputs (for the EVO 400)?
Anyone pair it with a SS amp with good results?

Do the Tape outputs work flawlessly?

Please add anything else you think is of note!

Thanks!
shahram
No Primaluna preamp owners eh?
WEll I boughta  used PL Dialogue 5 on ebay some months ago,,,and did not like it,,,shipped it back witha  generous $200 restock/hassle offer.. I like to be fair with anyone i buy from on ebay. I always offera  restock/hassle fee.
I guess you want some of my opinions why i did not care for the preamp. To my ears in my system, the sound was less defined vs my chinese 12AT7 preamp..
That said,,i am close to buyinga  new cayin SC6 pre , which is made in the same factory as the PL..Now it is true the PL Prologue is a older model,,so can not say how compares to the new EVO line.


Thanks for the feedback, but the prologue's are a bit too old to compare with.

Maybe the newer PL owners are so enthralled by their systems they don't need forums!
Yes agree, I would be curious as to how well the newer EVO 300 and 400 perform,,,But both are abit out my budget. These pres are made  in Spark's labs, where Cayin is also made, which asures its a high quality preamp.
There are no YT uploads demostrating either preamps performance. 
Yeah I was looking there as well. Only upscale audio videos, which are good for what they are. But I would rather hear from owners and not sales people, no offense to Kevin.

Although not the original intention of my post, I'm looking to pair a Tube Preamp with a SS Class A power amplifier. I know there are plenty of topics on the subject. I'm wondering if a Primaluna Preamp will be a good daily driver for Music, TV, Movies, etc. I live in a small apartment so no space for multiple systems!
What speakers do you have, I also plan to get a tube pre amp, have got a Belles SA30 class A power amp this year and plan to partner it with a Supratek Cabernet pre, looked also at the PrimaLuna but have read that they are not so tube sounding, more solid state/tubeIf that make sense ? The Supratek is in the same ballpark money vice, but are made by one man, therefore a bit of a waiting time. Mick is said to make them a bit warm sounding I am told, but he will build it to your spec if possible. Like PrimaLuna the Supratek look amazing, but they come in two chassis, one houses the power supply and the other the pre section, was lucky to hear a full Supratek setup at a store in Bangkok and although the system was over 10 years old, the sound was sublime, that system had two Supratek tube mono power amps, which unfortunately are a bit too many tubes for me )))
Looking for a good tube sounding class A solid state for some time, I was lucky some months ago to find a mint Belles SA30 for a very good price, am very happy with my purchase, it drives my Graham Audio LS 5/9 beautifully, now I just need a bit of patience until I can order my Supratek pre.
Emailing with Mick, he has assured me that the amps will be perfect with each other, so I am quite excited to hear the combination.
i only wish that the Supratek had a good headphone output! Same with the PrimaLuna, although the PrimaLuna intergrated has one, I don’t understand why their pre’s don’t have headphone output?!!
Happy listening.
I've got a pair of Spendor D7. I've read that the Primaluna preamps definitely are on the warmer side of neutral. Go look at the Stereophile and Tone Audio reviews for confirmation.

As for Supratek - I'm just not into how they look. The chrome and cherry wood is not my style.

The Belles SA30 looks like a great amp. I'm considering the Pass XA25.
Where are all the Primaluna Preamp owners at?

Anyway, as I mentioned before I am tempted to pair one of their preamps with a Pass XA25. Another idea is just going Luxman Integrated (590AX II). Very tough decision! The goal would be to take a little bite of the top end of speakers and add a bit of richness to the overall sound signature. One of the issues with really hifi gear is that poorer recordings (modern rock) really don't fare well. So looking for a smoother, creamier alternative to my current Musical Fidelity integrated setup.
I understand where you are coming from regarding the look of the Supratek, if it is any consolation, they look much better in real.
Also Mick can use different kind of wood and top plate.
i was in the same situation as you regarding the Luxman, but after a year of going forward and backwards I decided that I would miss tubes too much ( my main intergraded has tubes in the pre section ) also when I found a mint Belles SA30 it made it easier to decide, but I must say I love the looks of that Luxman, maybe one day....
Hello, shahram. I’ve owned a Pl EVO 400 preamp for approx one month and feel it performs better than I ever imagined it could. This is an unusual occurrence for me, especially with all the hype I’ve been subjected to over the past few months.  It does require a lot of “warm up” play but then the sound is absolutely “stunning”
I guess I’ve never realized the importance of a high quality preamp before. 
I have it working with a pair of CJ LP260mse monos, a pair of Focal 1038BE loud speakers and a pair of SVS  sb300 subs. 
Believe me, without a doubt, this preamp its the real deal IMHO.
Congratulations with your purchase, do you use the original tubes ? Is it quiet?
@rzromp

Thanks for the feedback. Your full tube setup sounds enticing!

How is the volume control via remote? Does it do incremental adjustments well? What kind of music do you listen to mostly?
Yes, I use the original tubes and it is very quiet. I only use the remote which is extremely substantial. The volume adjustments are very incremental allowing a lot of adjustment flexibility. I do have a setting where the volume is a little lower than I prefer whereas the next higher setting is a little too loud. I actually prefer the louder setting.

I like music that has a lot of background information because it is now more noticeable. Eric Clapton, the Band, Grateful Dead, Rush, the Beatles, and a lot of other seventies rock bands. The more detail that is generally indiscernible, the better. I’m noticing sounds that I didn’t notice before. I do think that the build is substantial and even though it has a unique appearance, I like it. You can certainly see a lot of tube presence. 
I have been an Evo 400 preamp owner, for 2 mo's. It is is the best preamp I have ever owned, by a wide margin. I have owned 3 others. I use Shunyata PC's on my amp ( SS class AB) and the evo 400, and my source streamer ( Uses Shunyata black Mamba PC) . I also use an oppo bdp 105 modified by Modwright with a tube circuit. It uses a shunyata sidewinder Gold on the outboard tube power supply, and a PS audio pc on the 105. Speakers are B&W Nautilus 805 signature 805. I have never enjoyed the music more. I used Upscale audio's 60 day trial, and I never sent it back. My ears don't lie to me,  whatever the opinions on theses forums say. 40+ yrs in this hobby listening. 

I have used Single ended and Balaced IC's with my Evo 400. The balanced perform much better in my system..I heard noise with the RCA, that disappears with the Balanced IC's. I am using Shunyata Venom digital RCA, and Shunyata Venom XLR with NAD c 658 streamer source. 
I turn on the Evo 400 with the volume turned off.  Amplifier 1st or Evo 400 1st doesn't seem to matter. The Evo 400 has a timer to let the tubes warm, before allowing the source to connect. 


PrimaLuna offers the best value in audio, they're comparable to ARC.  No I'm not a PrimaLuna dealer, just an owner of their monoblocks since they came out.

With all the things going on in China, that can not last much longer, so I suggest git while the gitten is good.
I've had my Evo 400 preamp now, for about 60 days.  It's paired with a Peachtree Amp500, feeding a pair of GoldenEar Triton 2+

The preamp provides a DEAD QUIET noise floor.  Power-on is a flick of the switch, and about 20 seconds later... you hear a click or two... and see the status light flip from red to green.  I use mine DAILY for several hours.

I'm running it with balanced XLR between the Luna and the Peachtree... no hum... no intermod... and you'd expect no less.  I think the way I'd describe this preamp is: "Neutral, but not cold... and sharp, with a pleasant clarity for the price-class."  Much of that is likely the rest of my audio chain, but that's how I'm perceiving it, when I added it to the loop.

The remote is substantial, but in my case, you just "barely" need to tap on the volume buttons to achieve a bump in change... and if you're heavy handed... you can overshoot quite easily.

The build quality really is top notch.  Nothing to sneeze at there.
With all the great American, Canadian and European made products why would you choose to support China?
With all the great American, Canadian and European made products why would you choose to support China?


Maybe because Chinese people are also humans trying to make a living and just because someone is American, Canadian or European it does not make them more worthy of food for their family? 


The rulers are bad but the Chinese people are very good people . China didn't ask the US firms to come over for cheap wages,the AMERICAN firms did  !



 
I have invested 1/3 American. 40%  European 20% Chinese and 10% Japanese. After enjoying the music with my wife of 32 years this evening. She said best: The music sounds like a live performance in our home. I can hear the singer's breath! The Chinese built Primaluna evo 400 (Chinese built) and  Shunyata XLR cables (American built) did this. That is why.
I echo, my Audience cables are worth a lot more than my PL HP Integrated. Could afford both because PL is reasonably priced. And, now more than ever, we understand we are citizens of the world. We should start buying HiFi from Brazil with hopes they stop deforestation for agriculture before we, North Americans, can continue breathing.
PrimaLuna Evo400 preamp owner here...almost a year.  Love, love love this preamp!  Warm, detailed, airy with 3 dimensional soundstage.  I am using the OG PL tubes on the outside 12au7s, Brimar and Radiotechnique NOS on the inside 4 12au7 sockets.  The rectifiers are Philips 5R4GYS NOS tubes.

Sublime, and highly recommended.
@orosie Have you compared it to any other preamps?
@rabbotmke Do you feel it still gives you tubey sound in terms of 3d soundstage, air, great imaging and warmth?
Has anyone compared it to ARC ref6 or VAC renissance mk5 ?
Thanks for the thread all on PrimaLuna.. On the fence considering a PL EVO400LS. Much like everyone here, trying to stay in a budget range. Had Krell & CJ & Sonus Fabers for 22 yrs with a amazing workhorse table from Revox (50+ years old). Oops, Forgot the Moon Eclipse CD- Canada.

Current rig in Retail : 3% Eastern Europe, 4% S.Korea, 35% Italy, 40% US Tube Mono's, and probably 4% more US cable, 6% Canada, 3% EU, the remaining 5% is up for grabs. 

I'am in Atlanta & I find comparison shopping is a misnomer. NO AUDIO stores, only Home theatre retailers that also might have some High end audio stock, maybe. State of the market needs to change- buying off reviews is "stinky". You folks in large markets like Chicago, NY & LA are very lucky.If you look at the concentration of used gear, a preponderance it is in those markets. 

Further example: there is NOWHERE to listen to Canary. Criminal.
Hifi Buys in Buckhead carries Primaluna and Audio Research. Evolution Home Theater right across the street carries McIntosh, Sonus Faber and Gryphon. There are few more dealers in the metro area.
Have owned my EVO 400 preamp for several months and it is the best so far. I have substituted Mullards in the front 4 positions while retaining the stock PL tubes in the rear positions.  I found in my system the stock tubes up front tended to be on the detailed side and needed to tone things down so the Mullards did the trick. At the time I bought mine I was looking at ARC preamps to replace my LS26. A dealer told me without a doubt that a lot of his customers were trading in their REF series preamps for the PrimaLuna EVO400. I don't know how high in the REF series overall however, I am pretty sure they were at the REF6 level and below. He was very adamant that the EVO 400 was what I should buy. I can recommend this preamp highly especially at this price point it is a NO brainer.  
I have the Primaluna  dialogue premium preamp. I believe the only thing that changed in the EVO line, is the addition of balanced connections. Until about two years ago, I was running my Shanling tube CD player straight into my Belles 150 a hot rod amp, using the built in volume control in the Shanling. I was of the school of thought that the best preamp is no preamp. Wow what a difference when I added the PL! The soundstage opened up in every way. Imaging became holographic and very airy. I have no desire to upgrade the preamp, very satisfied. 
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